Thursday, August 31, 2017


In 1992, after President Clinton's inauguration, I began binge-reading Maya Angelou's books, and my life opened and changed in a way I never knew possible. In 1994, the first poems I wrote were about race and women's issues. My minor in undergrad was Womyn's Studies. Most of my electives were focused on minority issues. I auditioned for "The Vagina Monologues," but sadly, my theater skills are sub par. I marched at Take Back the Night. My independent study culminated in a collection of poems about women's issues, including rape and domestic violence. I was a volunteer escort at Planned Parenthood during grad school. Rain or shine or subzero weather, I was there on Saturday mornings directly across the street from anti-choice protesters. I was infinitely blessed to see Angelou speak in person in 2010, just a few months before my first-born entered the world. A few days before his birth, I was the very last person to finish our town's MLK Jr. march, but the giant belly, swollen ankles, and turtle-crawl gait did not stop me. I marched in the Women's March in St. Paul in 2017 with both sons because we are raising men who will respect women and people of color (POC) no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although insignificant, I donate to various anti-hate, minority, and women's and children's organizations when I can afford it, even if it's only five bucks. I have never not been an advocate for women's and POC's rights. This is not new. This is not a fad. This is basic human decency. Yes, I know that as a privileged white woman, I am part of the problem and often wonder What the hell can I do about this? But I never claim that anyone is over-reacting or that silent LOVE is the answer. Love is the reason people are angry. Angry does not mean violent. Love is not an action plan. I am a Buddhist, and even I know that's a cop-out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Progress Report 2017

One of my New Year's goals for 2017 was to be creative. It's not really possible to fail in this because even in my laziest year, I write at least a handful of poems, work on some craft projects, and try some new recipes. But I would like to get more done before the end of the year, particularly with knitting. It's a good thing autumn has nearly arrived and the brisk air and warm cups of tea and coffee are the perfect inspiration for a morning, afternoon, or evening knitting session. Of course, there's work and kids and chores and stuff, but you make time for the things that bring you joy. I'm looking forward to my knitting circle getting back together, if not every week, hopefully once a month.

While we're here, let's look at some specifics:

1. My second batch of kimchi was a success! The first batch, which I made in the spring using lactofermentation, was not great, but this batch, based on the recipe from Wild Fermentation, is delicious - if you like spicy, sour, cabbagey things. I love it over my famous sticky rice.

2. With a lot of help from N and K (N chopped and peeled everything, and K helped during processing), I made this tastiest-I've-ever-had tomato sauce with tomatoes from our garden and some minced garlic. Our garden, by the way, has been amazing this year. It was a bit wild and overgrown and yielded a huge amount of kale, zucchini, tomatoes, dill, basil, green beans, and some cabbage and yellow squash. The yellow squash had a recurring calcium deficiency that caused some rot, but we still got a ton. The cabbage was hit by caterpillars once the bird family in the garden's bird house flew the coop. So we harvested it quickly, and kimchi and sauerkraut (made by K) ensued.

3. I've read a ton this year. It's sort of creative because I wrapped my little beauties and made a ceremony out of unwrapping them. Also, reading, especially poetry, inspires me to write, and I've written a few good poems, so there you go.

4. I'm almost finished my first big knitting project. I know it looks like a large winter fairy's dress, which would be awesome, by the way, but it's nothing that whimsical. I'll reveal the finished product soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Egg Tacos

N won't eat an omelette, but he will eat what K calls an egg and cheese taco...which is an omelette with cheese in it. My 6 1/2 year-old is very precise and is paying me back for my own childhood by correcting me every time I name the time. "No, it's not 6:30. It's 6:28." Right now, he's running around with his Rescue Bot, keeping it away from his little brother. When I asked him if he had a toy F could play with so that he would stop trying to climb all over his big brother (which results in loud "ouches" and annoying whining, and screams from the toddler), he says he doesn't like to share his toys. Meanwhile, I let F play with magnets and bookmarks, which often end up in the garbage after he's done with them (the parts he hasn't swallowed), just because I like a few minutes of peace and quiet now and then. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Peace and quiet? What is that?

This morning is perfect in its craziness. N and I put a puzzle together, F and I painted his tray with orange juice, and K and I had two minutes earlier where both kids were in separate rooms from us. But I have to go. F just accidentally turned the TV off, N grabbed the remote from him, crying is happening, and we're all hangry. Time for egg tacos!

Monday, August 7, 2017


Gosh, I came on here ready to rage about...something...but then I had a flashback to a couple of hours ago during nap time when F and I were snuggling and a little before that when N came over to hug and kiss me and tell me how I am the best mommy ever (not for the first time) and earlier this morning when K kissed me and said "I love you," and I remembered what I usually remember most of the time - I don't care. Nothing out there in the world matters enough to undermine what is right here. There will always be days where I hang on to my anger and frustration too long, where I wonder why the world is so horrible, where I grieve the fact that my true friends are few. But there are many more days and nights of gratitude for this life, this home we call Earth, and the real love that makes a true family.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tent Reading!

Ellen Bass's Like A Beggar was so good that I worry any other poetry I read will be disappointing. Still, I just couldn't wait to open a new one in time for our camp-out this weekend (like, I couldn't even wait to take a decent picture with decent lighting). It looks much different than Bass's work, but it also looks good (with the exception of a few crazy spacing poems - I'm a poet and poetry editor and still can't remember what those are called - I just don't like them!).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A New Project!

I am not going to tell you what this is. It took two sizes of needles, three separate gauges, two kinds and weights of yarn, and one beginning and then unravelling and starting over (so far), but I have begun the first real project I have done in over a year. Remember how I had a baby? Before F was born, I did a lot of booties (which no baby actually wears, but you can show him them when he's a grown-up and we can all be like aw! you were so cute!) and a couple of little sleep-sacks (again, didn't end up using it, but how cute). Since he was born, I started and forgot about a couple of dishcloths - I may have finished one. Honestly, I can't remember. That's what sleep deprivation does to you; it forces you into an eternal cycle of unfinished dishcloths.

[SIDE NOTE UPDATE: I totally forgot about the two knitted bookcovers (three, really - the first was a test) I made in early spring for K and my friend, V (shown in an April post). That's what sleep deprivation does to you; it forces you in an eternal cycle of unremembered projects.]

So I'm pretty excited about this. I'm ready to try harder projects. I'm ready to make things for myself. This is it. I won't reveal what it is just yet (I hope it turns out!), but I will say that the colors are deliberate, an homage to my Hogwart's House, Slytherin.

It's going to be a magical autumn!